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The next 10 years in energy

Natural gas is burned off next to an oil well being drilled at a site near Tioga, North Dakota on August 23, 2011.

The price of natural gas has been dropping, and it's not just from people turning off their heat as the weather gets warmer. It's cheaper and easier than ever to extract natural gas -- thanks in part to advances in controversial technologies like hydraulic fracturing.

As technology advances over the next decade, will it stay that way? Joshua Freed, at the centrist think tank Third Way, says, whether we like it or not, natural gas is and will stay a hit.

"Natural gas is the equivalent to U2, or the Jay-Z of energy. Everybody wants it right now," Freed says.

When it comes to renewable energy, Freed sees solar power as the next big thing.

"Solar has actually grown by 130 percent from 2011 to 2012," Freed says. "That's because the price of solar panels has dropped preciptiously and solar panels are starting to increase significantly in efficiency."

To hear more about the future of natural gas and solar power, click on thea audio player above.

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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